Gluing in an unheated shop

kelLOGg

Bob
Senior User
Whether I'm using epoxy or Titebond I use a heating pad under the work and insulation on top to keep the wood near 70 deg. to cure within 24h. The problem is that a heating pad is great for small areas but when there are multiple small areas - not so. Ideally, I would like heating pads that plug into each other in series so I could snake them around to the area being glued. Really don't ant to use an electric blanket - too bulky and big and some jobs are too big to bring into the house. How do you with cold shops deal with this?
 

bowman

Board of Directors, Events Director
Neal
Staff member
Corporate Member
I also have an unheated shop. I bring my glue and finishing supplies inside my house.
 

Raymond

Raymond
Corporate Member
I also have an unheated shop. I bring my glue and finishing supplies inside my house.
+1 I take my glue ups in the house and put them in the bonus room (out of the wife's way) - keeps her happy that she doesn't have to work around them.
 

TBoomz

Ron
User
Is titebond still good to use after it's been frozen? I usually put those bottles aside; I don't want to risk a bad glue-up. But if glue is still good...
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
For what its worth:

I never glue Titebond below 55F degrees. (I tried it at 50 and it took forever to dry)

For temps below 70, I double the dry time at 60, and again at 55. To some extent, you can similarly shorten drying time-to-handling by the same amount, although humidity also plays a part (seems like higher humidity shortens the time above 70 but extends it below 70. That could just be my perception, but it sets very quickly at 90+ @ 70%, and very slowly at 55 and 70%)

In my experience, Titebond does not work well after it freezes. Tried once: Bonding was inconsistent and some places weren't set after overnight.
 

Melinapex

Mark
User
It probably never gets much below 50 in my unheated garage, but I glue up all the time and haven't had any problems. Overnight is my usual minimum dry time..
 

TBoomz

Ron
User
in reference to mark's comment about high heat. Is it possible to shorten a glue-up time by placing in oven [under low heat]? Or even microwaving?

I've microwaved plywood to soften the glue [bend it the plies] and the glue bond always held after cooling. But am asking about titebond or maybe even something like gorilla glue.
 

BioAboreal

Ben
User
Well I've experienced working with titebond III right at 45 degrees, and having to use a heat source to get the temperature up to that point.

So for those of you that don't know, if the glue is at 35 degrees or so but not freezing , It will need to be warmed up. If you use the glue when its that cold, the glue will turn white and crystallize when used. its a easy dead giveaway if you've never glued panels up, at temperatures that cold.
 

Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
Folks no matter what anyone says or writes, in general if the manufacturer say it is ok to use @ 50deg ...by personal experience add 5 deg to the bottom number and minus 5 degrees to the top number. So use range is 50-110, then assume it functional range is 55-105. Personally, I try to keep to 10 degree rule. Remember, humidity can affect those ranges. This is true with glues and coatings
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Been there, done that, had to start over.
Amen - Been there, done that, had to start over.
For me it was an unheated shop where the glue did not set - project joints started coming apart when I sanded.... hmmmm?!?! Back up a step and re-do under warmer conditions was the answer.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
FYI. The glue and the materials to be glued should be above the recommended temperature. Maybe 60-65 minimum to be on the safe side.

 

TBoomz

Ron
User
It's snowing outside! But it's a wet snow and only 38F out. I can hear rain hitting the gutters. So, referencing Mark's comment about humidity..

Does anyone here use the foaming glues that require mating surfaces to be damped before clamping? With snow coming down, am figuring outside humidity to be above 90%, My shop isn't weather-tight, so can expect the humidity level to be [somewhat] affected inside.

How much of a role might the ambient humidity [inside] affect a glue-up - be it Titebond or foamies.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I use a small electric space heater sometimes in my shop but that is it's only heat other than what may leak out of the house. But that is pretty limited because the rooms around it are not usually heated either (unless the kids come home). It's a little warmer in SC but I don't think my shop ever gets below the 50s inside. Certainly my Titebond doesn't freeze. Maybe it gets to 40s sometimes. It was kind of cool in there today but I didn't glue anything up.

I allow a little extra drying time but I pretty much assume that if it is warm enough in there for me to work, it is warm enough for the glue to set up. I let it dry overnight before stressing the pieces. But I turn the heater off when I leave.
 

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